Friday, July 1, 2016

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is different from any other Park that we've visited because it's an urban park.  The town of Hot Springs literally grew up around the park!

First, we visited the Fordyce Bath House, which has been fully restored and is now the Park's visitor center.  We went on a tour of the bath house which everyone, even Harris who hears the word "tour" and wants to run for the hills, enjoyed!  Here we learned of how the spring water (naturally at around 143 degrees) was used for medicinal and restorative uses.  I found the parallel to today's treatments and yesteryear's treatments fascinating.  So much is the same, just applied differently. I love seeing how they did things years ago, especially the fancy things!

Bath House Row is a series of bath houses that offered services to bathers, each one having a particular specialty.  Two of the bath houses are still offering baths!  We decided "when in Rome" and all four of us participated in a bath at Buckstaff Baths.  It was an experience that included a bath in the hot spring water, hot packs, steam, and a needle shower just like in the older days!  It was Harris's favorite part of the day!

Behind Bath House Row is the Promenade where the patients were told to exercise and partake of fresh air.  The spring water of Hot Springs flows right out of the mountain and is perfectly safe to drink.  In fact, it is said to have healing properties due to all the minerals!  Patients were encouraged to "quaff the elixir."  There are fountains throughout the park to drink the water, you just have to be careful not to burn yourself!  As you walk along the Promenade you can see where the Park Service has capped the springs to protect it as drinking water.

Safe to drink even with all the green globs!

They also have jug filling stations where anyone can come and fill up jugs!  We filled two!

This was a really fun day for us all, it was neat to be in a town but also a National Park.  Bryce even got to taste a flight of beer from a brewery that uses the spring water in their distillery!  Next stop... Big Bend National Park.  

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Reminds me a little of the bath I had at the Green Briar - which is more like a sulfer spring I guess? So glad you are having fun out there.


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